What You Need To Know About Sore Lats After Pushups

Updated February 25th 2020; April 5th 2019

The pushup is a common bodyweight exercise done to strengthen your upper body.

Beginning with a prone position, lifters will lower and raise their bodies to the ground using their chest, triceps, anterior deltoids and other parts of the shoulder.

What does it mean if your lats are sore after doing pushups?

Do pushups even workout your lats?

Are sore lats after pushups common?

No, sore lats are not common after pushups. If you have weak lats, pushups can help identify your weakest chain link. The latissimus dorsi is a supporting muscle that helps lifters stabilize their pushups.

You have not trained your lats enough.

This can be a common concern if you are doing any upper body exercises, like bench presses and dips, or back movements, such as barbell rows and pullups.

What exactly are my lats doing?

Your lats help you with pulling motions, breathing, moving your shoulder girdle in different planes, such as depression, and lateral flexion, arching your spine and anterior pelvic tilts.

These functions are critical for your everyday movements so developing sufficient lat strength is key for all humans to strive for.

Did you the that the biggest muscle in your back is the latissimus dorsi?

It should come to no surprise how important this muscle is for any lifter.

Even more so, with how idealized the bench press is, having huge and strong lats only makes the process much easier for you.

Can I train my lats with pushups?

The renegade row pushups is a pushup variation with dumbbells where the lifter does a pushup, followed by doing one-armed dumbbell rows.

One repetition will include one full pushup in a neutral grip position, one right-handed dumbbell row and one left-handed dumbbell row.

Why would you do renegade row pushups?

Training your lats with an effective compound movement should be the biggest reason to incorporate renegade row pushups.

Any exercises you choose much abide by your code of conduct.

After all, you do not want to waste time and you want to get results as efficiently as possible.

So, let us go over some key strategies and questions you must always ask yourself whenever choosing new exercises to do:

Does the exercise address your weakness?

If your lats are sore after doing pushups, this is a telltale sign that you need to work on your lat development.

Renegade rows pushups are one exercise of thousands that you can choose from in order to achieve some serious lat gains.

How effective is the exercise?

Ideally, as strength training athletes, we always want to incorporate as many compound exercises as we can.

This is for obvious reasons, one of which is that you get to hit multiple muscle groups at the same time.

There is no way any serious lifter would consider doing only isolation exercises to work their entire body.

That is insane.

For the renegade rows pushups, you get to work on all the muscles a regular pushup could give you.

In addition to that, you also get the benefit of doing dumbbell rows, which works on your back and arm stabilizers as well.

Are you getting closer to your training goals?

Exercise, strength training, lifting, it is all fun.

I get it.

But for a lot of lifters, we want to achieve something through all our hard work.

What is your training goal and how can the exercise you are thinking about going to help you get closer to that goal?

If you are thinking about the renegade rows pushups because you experienced soreness in your lats from pushups, this would be a solid exercise choice.

Not only are you addressing a weakness, but you are also strengthening another muscle group at the same time.

A double win in my book.

Benefits of the Renegade Row Pushup

With the combination of two compound lifts, the renegade rows pushups may be deemed a super lift.

By working on your core, upper body and back, what does the renegade row pushup not hit?

Here is a list of benefits that you can expect when doing the renegade row pushup:

Longer time under tension (TuT)

When you do a set of renegade row pushups, you are not just doing it for 5 seconds.

You are probably going to do them until failure or near-failure.

As a result, this is at least 30 seconds of constant movement where you are stimulating your muscles.

For lifters with more endurance and strength, this can probably even longer from 45 seconds or even 1 minute!

Longer time under tension is great for your body to stimulate muscle growth as your muscles are working under stress for longer periods of time, which stimulates a metabolic response.

Strength and Stability Development

There is no question that you are developing strength.

After all, that is one of the main reasons why you chose the renegade rows pushups as an exercise to work on your lat weakness.

But did you also know that you are also working on your stabilizers, both in your arms and core?

You are doing a modified plank every time you do a rep of renegade rows pushups.

This is great if you want to develop thick abs and a strong core.

When should you do Renegade Row Pushups?

There are two recommended times to do renegade row pushups - as a warmup or as an accessory.

For the most part, if you want to do a very taxing workout, you would have chosen another exercise that mainly focuses only on your lats (the barbell row) or only on your chest (the bench press).

Since this is a combined exercise, the weight you are able to row is limited by your stamina.

Doing pushups and weighted rows will tire you out faster than if you only did heavy weighted rows or weighted pushups separately.

Warmup with Renegade Row Pushups

Renegade row pushups are an excellent exercise in order to warmup your entire upper body, back, and core.

Doing light weight will sure to get everything firing and ready for your heavy compound working sets.

A recommended set/rep range would be 2-3 sets of 5 reps.

Accessory with Renegade Row Pushups

Alternatively, you can do renegade row pushups as an accessory or cooldown activity.

Here, you can do a bit heavier since you are at the end of your workout.

At the same time, you need to make sure you maintain proper form and do not cheat with the renegade row pushups.

Always remember to do a proper pushup, followed by a proper 1 handed row on both sides.

A common set/rep range would be 3 sets for 5-8 reps.

Could I superset Renegade Row Pushups with Pullups?

It would be a wonderful idea to superset the renegade row pushups with pullups.

Keep in mind that you are doing two exercises that target your lats, so you may experience diminishing returns in the amount of weight and reps you can do.

Supersets are usually designed to increase the time under tension (TuT) and to speed up your workouts.

Do the exercise you want to focus on more first, and then follow it up with the second exercise just to keep your body working hard.

Your lats will hate you initially, but over the course of time, you will do nothing but pat yourself on the back for your good exercise choice selections.

Why do my ribs hurt after push ups?

There are muscles between your ribs and can be sore after prolonged periods of inactivity.

Soreness in different areas of your ribs can mean you are working out various muscle groups.

Your pectoralis minor connects to the front part of your ribs. Your serratus anterior connects to the back side of your ribs.

In general, you should not feel any pain in your ribs doing pushups.

There are no main muscle groups located in your ribcage that contribute greatly toward doing a pushup.

However, if you have not been doing any pushups for a long time, drastic changes in lifestyle can leave your entire body sore.

Movement and exercise can stimulate small muscles located throughout your body, leaving you with strange locations of soreness.

As a good rule of thumb, a good type of pain should be tolerated if the pain is managed through a gentle massage.

This would usually indicate a muscular soreness.

However, if the pain does not subside with a massage, this could be a sign of a tendon, ligament, bone or joint soreness.


Costochondritis is the inflammation of the cartilage that connects your ribs to your breastbone.

This can make breathing, coughing and laughing very painful.

It also feels painful when doing exercises like pushups.

The causes of costochondritis are unknown but it can occur after exercise, injury or illness.

A major symptom of this condition is very sharp chest pain.

Pain can be managed through rest and is aggravated through movement.

As always, you should seek consultation with a medical professional with any serious, lingering symptoms.

One of the key strategies to minimize pain but still make gain is to find pain-free compound movements that do not aggravate your pre-existing conditions.

If you cannot do pushups, can you do dips, incline pushups, dumbbell work, bench press, etc?

Experiment and figure out what works best for you.


Sore lats and pushups do not go hand-in-hand. 

However, if you do happen to have weak lats or are doing pushups incorrectly, you now have something else to work on!

And do not let this bring your day down.

Be grateful that you have an opportunity to get stronger and to be great in the future.

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